Transaero's management suspected of $5.9 million embezzling

Transaero's management suspected of $5.9 million embezzling
According to the auditors of Alfa-Bank, the money was withdrawn to the accounts of offshore companies

The missing money was given to the company in the form of a loan by Alfa Bank.⁠

The officials of Transaero are suspected of embezzling 350 million rubles ($5.9m), Kommersant reports. In 2013, this money was given to the company by Alfa-Bank in the form of a loan. On the fact of theft a criminal case was instituted in accordance with part 4 of Art. 159.1 (Swindling in the field of lending on especially large scale, committed by an organized group on a preliminary conspiracy).

Despite the fact that the case was initiated on May 5, 2016, the investigative actions have not started since then - they tried to protest the decision to initiate the case.

The ground for initiating the criminal case was a check conducted by Alfa Bank employees. Then it turned out that when signing a loan agreement, Transaero provided inaccurate financial statements, inflating the value of its assets by several times. Using documents with incorrect data, employees of the air carrier received a loan in the amount of 665 million rubles ($11.2m). By the due date of return on June 25, 2015, Transaero returned only 318 million rubles ($5.3m), and the rest of the money was spent at their discretion.

However, on July 20, 2016, Natalya Agafieva, the Head of the Moscow Department of the Interior Ministry in Moscow, abolished the decision to initiate the case. She argued her position by the fact that the theft of Alfa Bank's funds was related to the case of the Deliberate Bankruptcy of Transaero under Art. 196 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, in connection with which the separation of the case is inexpedient. This decision was challenged by the credit organization in court, in connection with which the decision of Agafieva was canceled.

Later, the Prosecutor's Office spoke out against prosecution of the case - the court decision was appealed by Moscow Deputy Prosecutor Andrey Gantsev. In his opinion, there was no Transaero's malicious intent in the non-return of money, and the true cause of this was financial problems within the company. In this regard, the return of funds must be done within jus civile.

The Moscow City Court considered the appeal, but accepted the arguments of Alfa Bank, which auditors indicated that the funds were withdrawn to the accounts of offshore companies. As a result, the decision on the criminal case of fraud was never abolished.

The credit organization itself declined to comment on the situation, saying that it was "the prerogative of competent authorities".

Until 2015, Transaero, owned by spouses Alexander and Olga Pleshakovs, was the second largest passenger carrier with a turnover of 13.2 million people. However, because of the crisis, the company was unable to service the debt in 260 billion rubles ($43.9m), so on October 26, 2015 the Federal Air Transport Agency withdrew the operator's certificate from Transaero. Since December 2015, the Arbitration Court of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region has started bankruptcy proceedings against the company.

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